In Which I’m Inspired by Direct Mail. Really.

I just finished The New Evangelization: 2003 - 2013 Missionary Letters, which is basically a collection of fundraising letters from A Simple House, an intentional Catholic community which practices "friendship evangelization" among the poor in DC and Kansas City, MO. It's a genuinely moving book with solid reflections on the theory and practice of charity. There are good explanations of why the authors focus on friendship as vs. efficient meeting of material needs, and there are countless … [Read more...]

Too Much Harmony: “Water by the Spoonful,” A Play About Friendship, Dissonance, and Humiliating Identity

Last night I saw Quiara Alegria Hudes's Pulitzer-winning Water by the Spoonful at Studio Theatre. It uses dissonant jazz as a metaphor for the disjunctions and collisions in our own lives, asking whether these discordant notes will ever resolve into harmony. The show tells two parallel stories: A young vet with PTSD fights with his cousin about how to mourn his dying adoptive mother, and members of an online support group for "crackheads" (their term, which is important, see below) strive to … [Read more...]

“Making God’s House Into a Home: An Interview w/Spiritual Friendship’s Wesley Hill”

woot! ...I wrote that book when I was in my mid-twenties. Like a lot of people that age, I was wrestling with strong emotions and grappling with deep hopes and fears about the future. My greatest fear was waking up one day in my 60s or 70s, in an apartment by myself, having lived a deeply isolated adult life, without family and people with whom I could make a “home.” Much of that angst has subsided now that I’m in my early 30s, so if I were rewriting Washed and Waiting today, I’d be tempted to w … [Read more...]

Out of the Closets and Into the Pews!

My piece for AmCon on gay Christians coming out is online! Coming out of the closet is the simplest tool of the gay movement, yet it’s proven to be the most powerful and even the most spiritually profound. On the political side, Pew Research data this year found that knowing someone who is gay was the most common reason people switched to supporting gay marriage, and the percentage of people who know someone openly gay has risen over 25 points since 1993.But on a more personal level, coming … [Read more...]

Nice mention in The Irish Catholic!

...Even aside from the sad fact that Catholics have often used the Church’s teaching as an excuse for cruelty and prejudice, there are many problems. Why is it that we only ever hear homilies about two lifelong vocations, marriage and the priesthood? Why are gay men and women so often spoken about as political opponents rather than people? Why do some orthodox Catholics still scoff at the idea of homophobia and acts like anti-gay bullying is nothing to worry about?When reading the ‘New Hom … [Read more...]

“Identity Theft”: I review (and LOVE) “The Goldfinch”

in the Weekly Standard: When we speak of “the permanent things,” we should mean the enduring, inescapable, and unfulfilled longings of the contradictory human heart: the helpless yearnings found across radically different times and cultures. And among these permanent desires, the need for home and the need for ecstasy stand preeminent.Donna Tartt made her name with 1992’s bestselling murder-by-paganism tale The Secret History, which explored our longing for ecstatic release from the self. Th … [Read more...]

Underrated Horror Flick on Netflix Streaming!

I infest the fine blog Kindertrauma, with a recommendation for a 2012 indie horror movie which really struck me. More in comments. … [Read more...]


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